Do Your Policy and Procedure Manuals Need a Tune-Up?
By: Dennis Gardiner, Partner | emailYour policy manual should answer the question of why your organization exists and what its philosophy, mission and goals are. Policies are the steps to put your goals into action. The fortunes of any company have, historically, been closely tied to how well they managed risk. Written policies, approved by the board of directors and adhered to in practice, are of critical importance to ensure that the company operates within prescribed risk tolerances. In today’s fiercely competitive and challenging environment, an up-to-date policy manual, appropriate to a company’s functions and business plan, may be more important than ever. There are numerous benefits to having a relevant and effective policy manual, and severe consequences to having one that is stale and out of date. Written policies vary considerably in content, length, and specificity as well as style and quality. No two companies share the same tolerance for risk, offer the same product mix, or face the same economic conditions. An effective policy should reflect the size and complexity of the company and its operations, and should be tailored to its particular needs and characteristics. Revisions should occur as circumstances change, and the policy should be flexible enough to accommodate a new activity without a major overhaul.
A five-step process can be used to develop policies and procedures.